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What Can I Do About Marketing?

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Many times I hear this question when a publisher calls to try to understand
why his or her title has gotten onto the shelves of a certain market
(bookstore, gift shop, major chain) but isn’t selling. When asked what type
of action plan they had in place before getting it into these retail outlets,
I often find out that nothing has been done to further the sales.

And then, every once in a while, a completely thought-out plan comes to my
attention and restores my belief that there are people who plan. Such is the
case with a Marketing Strategy developed by Susan Osborn, Ph.D., M.S.W., of
LifeThread Publications (Newark, CA) for her title, The System Made Me Do It!
A Life Changing Approach to Office Politics

The following, in my opinion, is what should be completed by everyone before
a title is published, and I recommend you clip and save this as a model.

Marketing Strategy for
The System Made Me Do It!

What is this book selling?

  • freedom
  • control

What does this book offer?

  • insights
  • new information
  • challenges
  • guidance
    • to sharpen who you are
    • to move in a positive direction
    • to act in your own best interest
    • to travel the upward path
    • to lead an inspired life

What is the competitive advantage of this book?

  1. The subject of office politics is not covered as a system elsewhere.
  2. The book has a different angle from other books about the workplace.
  3. Office politics is a hot topic (i.e., the popularity of the comic strip, Dilbert, and the online website, Disgruntled).
  4. The author has experience and a reputation that guarantees an audience.
  5. The book will enhance the lives of readers.
  6. The book is easy to read and use.
  7. The ideas presented break the mold of current practice.
Who are the early adapters? 

Faculty, students, and staff in academic programs, e.g.:California Institute of Integral Studies

The Center for the 21st Century, University of North Texas

Certified Advanced Technology Manager Program, Pratt & Whitney, Montreal

College of Notre Dame, Master of Science in Systems Management Program

Concordia University, Dept. of Applied Social Sciences, Montreal

The Fielding Institute, Human and Organizational Development Program

Univ. of Groningen, The Netherlands, Management and Organization Program

Members of professional organizations/associations, such as:

Academy of Management

American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Society for Training and Development

Association of Humanistic Psychology

California Health Information Association

Career Action Center

Center for Creative Leadership

Communities of the Future

Growth and Leadership Center

Foundation for Ethics and Meaning

The Humanist Community

Institute of Noetic Sciences

International Forum on Globalization

Leadership California

The Learning Community

The Learning Organization Network

National Association of Women Business Owners

National Organization for Women

National Society for Performance Improvement

Options for Women Over Forty

Organization Development Network

The Sierra Club

Society for Technical Communication

Software Industry Coalition

Western Academy of Management

World Business Academy

Women’s Business Network

Women in Technology International


Who else will buy this book? 

Business leaders

Career counselors

Change agents

Co-housing advocates

Communication coaches

Community organizers

Conflict resolution facilitators

Dissatisfied employees

Educators and trainers




Freelancers and temps

Frustrated parents


Human resources professionals



Marketing representatives

Marriage, family and child counselors



New age enthusiasts

Organizational designers

Organizational consultants



Sales representatives

Self-employed individuals

Self-help advocates

Social activists

Social scientists

Social workers

Strategic planners

Systems thinkers


Victims of corporate downsizing

Weary game players

Where will people buy this book? 


Public seminars and speaking engagements

Specialty distribution

Direct mail

How will buyers know about this book? 

Sample copies sent to directories, reviewers, libraries, academicians, endorsers, supporters, distributors, wholesalers, book clubs

Book reviews

News releases

Coop promotions (PMA, SPAN, MSPA, etc.)

Feature articles in newspapers

Flyers mailed to professional organizations, corporations, key individuals

PR packet and review copies to TV and radio stations

Radio talk shows

TV interviews

PR packet and review copies to bookstores

Bookstore signings

Seminars and speaking engagements

Mail order catalogs

Direct mail promotions

Internet (home page on web, e-mail, and listings in online catalogs)

Book fairs

Marketing campaign by New Leaders Press, publisher of Elegant Solutions: The
Power of Systems Thinking
(1998 release in which Dr. Osborn is a contributor) 

About this book: 

This unique guide is the result of the author’s extensive experience in human
and organizational systems. It provides a thorough overview plus solid,
timely recommendations. Valuable tips on how to deal with corporate politics
are included, along with suggestions for transforming unhealthy workplaces
and creating vibrant, dynamic organizations. This book is written in a light,
easy-to-understand style. It offers information not available elsewhere. 

About the author: 

Susan M. Osborn, Ph.D., M.S.W., has a background that includes 25 years as a
business and management consultant. She has also worked as an individual,
group, and family therapist; caseworker; parole agent; court supervisor;
director of prisoner rehabilitation; editor; researcher; technical writer;
professional organizer; career counselor; corporate trainer; performance
management specialist; organizational development project manager; manager of
compensation and benefits; manager of human resource development; and small
business owner.

She has taught at 20 different colleges and universities. After earning her
doctorate in human and organizational systems, she served as the director of
a master’s degree program in systems management.

She is the senior author of Assertive Training for Women (1975) published by
C.C. Thomas. This book was sold in bookstores throughout the US and is part
of the permanent collection of many libraries, including a library in Tel
Aviv. It was translated into Dutch in 1977. Still in print, it is regarded as
the primary guidebook for leading assertion training groups.

This is a compact outline which identifies the potential markets, gives a
synopsis of the book and author, and contains a step-by-step way to move this
title. Notice that this book is not identified as being “for everyone.” The
plan focuses in on those who fall within certain parameters. Now the book may
jump outside those parameters as it grows in popularity (and I’m sure that
the publisher hopes this to be the case), but the approach is realistic and
homework has been done as to the title’s initial saleability. Long term sales
have also been built in.

Try it for your title. It may help you in ways you can’t imagine!

This article is from thePMA Newsletterfor April, 1997, and is reprinted with permission of Publishers Marketing Association.

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